Questions tagged [performance-practice]

For questions related to how music is or was performed, including but not limited to issues of instrumentation, tuning, and personnel.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
7 votes
1 answer
445 views

Bach French Suite BWV 816: Allemande - what is the ornament with the swoosh at the end?

I am using this (Henle) reference for ornamentation: https://www.henle.de/media/foreword/1816.pdf. The ornament in bar 9 looks like "idem" but the swoosh comes at the end (instead of at the ...
6 votes
4 answers
466 views

Which is more comprehensible for a player after writing fortissimo: forte or meno forte?

So after writing ff when you want musicians to play very loud, would you rather write f alone or meno f if you want them to go a bit softer but still loud enough?
  • 151
8 votes
4 answers
1k views

Why are there pairs of wind instruments in a symphonic orchestra?

Why is it so that there are often two identical oboes, two identical clarinets, two identical bassoons and two identical trombones in a symphonic orchestra? Is it just because one instrument is not ...
  • 213
5 votes
1 answer
118 views

Help understanding basso continuo in Vivaldi's 'La Folia'

This piece by Vivaldi is shown in the score to be notated for 3 voices. However in performances, there are 4 instruments played: 2 violins, cello and keyboard. The keyboard, along with playing the ...
  • 223
4 votes
2 answers
216 views

Did Bach call for male countertenor for the Alto solo part for his cantatas / passion oratorios?

I see a recent trend for countertenors to sing the alto parts for Bach's cantata / passion oratorios such as Maarten Engeltjes in Magnificat and Tim Mead in St. Matthew Passion. Is this recent trend ...
7 votes
2 answers
327 views

Should staccatissimo be observed in Bach's Fugue in D Minor in WTC 1 BWV 851

I am using the "Edition Peters" and there are notes which have a staccatissimo sign under some notes. Should these be observed? It seems to me that it disrupts the overall tonal quality of ...
7 votes
2 answers
275 views

Timing of grace notes in Chopin's Waltz in a minor

Consider the following: (Chopin At the Piano - Verlag) Should the grace notes be played before the beat or on the beat? I am reading a book on music theory, and it says: (The AB Guide to Music ...
  • 421
7 votes
2 answers
880 views

How do you play a low Eb on a double bass?

The opera Das Rheingold starts with four of the double basses playing a low E-flat, one half step below the lowest E on a bass with standard tuning. In the sheet music, there is the instruction that ...
  • 267
2 votes
1 answer
119 views

How to play measures 5 through 7 of Mozart's Turkish March

How do you play this highlighted part from Turkish March on the keyboard? Press GAB together? Or 1 after the other with GA quickly? It sounded weird after the first bar that way. Do I press E that is ...
4 votes
2 answers
514 views

Rolled chords: how much flexibility in the rhythm?

Best way to illustrate this question is by example, looking at Liszt's transcription of Beethoven's 6th symphony, movement 2. Compare 9:30 in: to the very start of: ...
  • 143
2 votes
5 answers
364 views

Do you need to improvise to be a virtuoso? [closed]

In other words, how deeply connected with music do you have to be to be a virtuoso? Is mechanistic perfection sufficient or do you have to have proficiency in all aspects of music, imrovisation, ...
  • 553
22 votes
5 answers
2k views

Notation - when to use staccato vs rests

I'm arranging a piece of music I wrote for string quartet, and I'm not sure what the most practical way of notating the following rhythm is. I'm self taught and rarely use written music, so I'm not ...
7 votes
2 answers
472 views

Small bore trombone in philharmonic orchestra - Berlioz symphonie fantastique

I was listening to this recording of Berlioz symphony by the French orchestra "Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France". After having a laugh about the clarinetist suffering from the ...
5 votes
4 answers
1k views

Who decides how a historic piece is adjusted (if at all) for modern instruments?

Here we have a video of a historically-informed (or period) performance of Moonlight Sonata's first movement. Wikipedia notes: Some critics contest the methodology of the HIP movement, contending ...
6 votes
2 answers
666 views

Do conductors scores ("partitur") ever differ greatly from the full score?

I believe most conductor’s scores are full scores, with all instruments appearing on them in a prescribed order, in the same notation the player will see However, it seems like there would be ...
8 votes
1 answer
368 views

What is the meaning of the "chiaroscuro" sound that was considered ideal in Classical and early-Romantic Italian opera?

Apparently, in Classical and early-Romantic Italian opera (the "bel canto" opera repertoire), the ideal kind of vocal colour was a so-called chiaroscuro sound. The chiaro- part translates as ...
8 votes
5 answers
1k views

Are German lieder usually flexible re male or female singers?

I've been listening to a lot of Schubert lieder - it's a form I'm learning more about. Are lieder vocals generally non-gender specific? It seems that there can be either a male or female vocal on the ...
  • 907
8 votes
3 answers
425 views

Extra notes (triplets) in a Bach manuscript?

My question relates to an answer by @Peter to this earlier question Different versions of mordents in Bach Invention No. 1 In C Major, BWV 772 Here's what we usually see However, in Peter's answer, ...
1 vote
3 answers
103 views

How did Victorian Christmas carolers sing Christmas carols?

Do we have any idea of how Victorian Christmas carolers actually sang Christmas carols? What chords did they use, did they use ornaments etc, were there special ways that they ended the Christmas ...
5 votes
1 answer
158 views

Playing symphonies by e.g. Rachmaninoff or Mahler using string instruments with gut strings (like more Baroque styled instruments)?

I was listening to some performances from Netherland's "All of Bach" group that performs Bach works on Baroque instruments. I quite liked the sound of the strings, and I thought that it ...
  • 403
1 vote
2 answers
245 views

Term for One person performing a whole Arrangement with nothing else accompanying (As a Cover)

Like how "Unplugged Version" means the Original Song has been performed with 0 usage of technology-stuff (other than Microphone) [No editing, Acoustic Instruments only, No Faders, No ...
1 vote
3 answers
449 views

I can't play a piece after hours of practice! What do I do?

Right now, I am learning to play Nuvole Bianche by Ludovico Einaudi (here is a link: ) and I need to have a recording done by tomorrow for the piece. I started learning ...
24 votes
6 answers
8k views

Why do some pianists occasionally play their hands at different times?

Piano is not my main instrument, but I have always been taught that the same rhythms should always sound together. In other words, if both hands play on the downbeat of the measure, both hands should ...
  • 80.2k
3 votes
3 answers
83 views

In general, do chamber musicians prefer to play from a score or from an individual part book?

Specifically in the context of Baroque trio sonatas. If part books are preferred, then what is the point of printing such works in score in the first place?
  • 2,317
3 votes
3 answers
217 views

Difference between notes and recoding of performed BWV anhang 122

During the past weeks I've been studying BWV anhang 122, the march in D major. Sheet music can be found here. I'm more or less able to perform the piece, though not yet at the tempo indicated by the ...
  • 787
1 vote
0 answers
49 views

notation: stems in different direction [duplicate]

Should I play G on the 🎼 twice or hold it ? I’m confused how to play the right hand. Help me. Thanks 🙏
3 votes
2 answers
124 views

Has it always been the tradition for conceto soloists to have their music memorized?

At all the performances of concertos I've attended, the soloists perform without sheet music, whether it is a concerto for piano, viola, or horn. Has this always been the performance tradition for ...
  • 1,083
1 vote
2 answers
169 views

getting started with solo acoustic gig

Questions music I’ve been out of practice since 2004, and have finally decided to get back into music and do a solo acoustic gig. Formerly I was lead guitar for a country rock band, so going from ...
4 votes
4 answers
323 views

Are ups & downs/peaks and valleys inherent in piano practice and performance?

It sounds like a weird question, but I just don't know how to describe it in words; sometimes you are really good at performing the piece, and you feel enthusiastic and more confident, other times ...
3 votes
1 answer
139 views

Are the same brain areas used for sports and music skills? [closed]

The setup to this question is that humans are good at predicting how things move, so a sportsman can anticipate where to move to on the field so they can catch a baseball that's in the air, or again ...
  • 9,607
1 vote
1 answer
173 views

The Blues Face: Origins

I'm sure plenty of you guys know this situation well: Someone's playing some blues guitar lick, and right as things get real stanky, they make a weird face, seemingly in reaction to the lick they're ...
  • 12.1k
3 votes
5 answers
909 views

How can I start to feel the beat while playing an instrument?

When I hear another one playing a piece on e.g. a piano I can usually notice if he's rushing or slowing i.e. not "feeling" the beat. But somehow I can't feel it while I'm playing the piano either, so ...
  • 133
6 votes
4 answers
2k views

Should you play baroque pieces a semitone lower?

I haven't really been able to find an answer to this question. I've only noticed that most instruments during the baroque period were tuned a semitone lower (A=415 Hz I believe). So shouldn't it make ...
  • 1,439
2 votes
1 answer
201 views

Which is more common when spinning a jogwheel clockwise, going forward or backward in time?

On a DJ controller, which is the more common default setting for jogwheels, say, on CDJs at clubs? Clockwise to move forward in time (toward the end of the song), or counterclockwise? I learned ...
16 votes
2 answers
2k views

Do they make "karaoke" versions of concertos for solo practice?

Say I as a pianist want to play/practice Saint-Saens's second piano concerto, but I happen to not have a symphony orchestra in my living room. How can I play this? Are there "pianoless" recordings to ...
1 vote
3 answers
1k views

Why doesnt my flute tone improve?

So i have been playing the flute for 5 years and a couple months ago, I purchased an intermediate level yamaha flute. I practice every single day for a minimum of an hour and i try to do long tones as ...
  • 13
1 vote
1 answer
83 views

How should I got about re-creating a melody in chiptune?

I am trying to recreate "Pure Vessel"(A.K.A. Path of Pain theme) by Christopher Larkin in chiptune. However, my first attempt at it was awful(my failed attempt), and I would appreciate it if I could ...
's user avatar
6 votes
7 answers
394 views

Is there a musical difference between a work ending with a whole note and one ending with a whole note tied to an eighth?

Occasionally I come across pieces of music written for wind ensembles (or similar groups) such that the final held note of a piece is notated like so: In other words, the final note of the piece ends ...
  • 80.2k
2 votes
2 answers
828 views

Any tips on playing 5 and 6 note tuplets? (sheet music in desc)

http://www.gangqinpu.com/pu/2015/7/2/104346_155341.pdf bar 66 - 73 the notes are easy but just timing the triplets with the dotted notes in the left hand (whats it called? syncopation?) here is the ...
16 votes
3 answers
331 views

What is the historically informed way of playing the 1/16 notes in Handel's Water Music suite no. 1 overture?

Handel's Water Music suite no. 1 starts with a slow overture with 1/16 notes at the middle and end of each measure: Some performances play it "as written" [Koopman], but some play the 1/16 notes ...
  • 1,663
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

Should I use the sustain pedal when playing Bach fugues?

I'm Practicing Bach Prelude & Fugue in D . There is no pedal markings since it from Baroque eras , but i found in Youtube many Concert pianist Performing Fugue with Sustain Pedals. Am working for ...
  • 41
4 votes
3 answers
265 views

Practice and performance

This question is going to take some time to explain (at least for me), so pardon the length ahead of time. Also note that it seem like it elicits opinions but this is not the intent. I'm interested ...
's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
10k views

Grace notes: when are they played on the beat, and when are they played off?

Since my performance experience is mostly in music after 1850, and since my instrument (tuba) very rarely has any grace notes, I've been mixed up for some time on how to play grace notes in different ...
  • 80.2k
21 votes
4 answers
3k views

Very little time to learn pretty complex songs. What should my strategy be?

I got invited to join this band. They've got plenty more experience than I do, but I've been playing with one of the members for quite a while and, I guess, I wasn't doing so bad, since he's now ...
3 votes
7 answers
891 views

Timing and performance

I love music and I want to create and I have an advanced knowledge of theory. But when it comes to performance, I fall flat. Whenever I am playing a bass or guitar, I become too overwhelmed and ...
  • 61
23 votes
4 answers
4k views

As a soloist, should I face the audience or the conductor during long tutti sections?

I am playing a violin concerto with an orchestra and a fairly large audience in a few weeks. So my question is, in the long Tutti parts where I don't play, should I face towards the audience, and what ...
  • 502
20 votes
17 answers
5k views

What can I do to stop getting nervous before and during a performance? [duplicate]

Normally when I have a piano performance/recital I tend to get nervous. I have done a couple of exams, and all I do is stare at the wall. But then I start sweating and then my hands are all sweaty ...
  • 586
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

What does "x" mean in piano fingering?

In many of Louis Moreau Gottshalk's scores, such as "Minuit á Séville", measures 16 - 18 (see below), the fingering is written "x" and not a digit. What does it mean? I interpret &...
1 vote
2 answers
59 views

Practice techniques for footswitches

I do a lot of pedal switching. I have an RJM mastermind MIDI board which controls an Axe FX. I have two common problems when hitting a foot switch: Timing and Accuracy. Timing I would hope is self ...
  • 390
0 votes
2 answers
50 views

Need advice on simple audio mixer and setup for novice sitar player to play along with masters recorded audio?

Currently the person plays the recorded audio on her laptop and practices along with it, the issue is background noise and other household noise distracting her. I am not a qualified person, my ...